Repose of the soul.

I missed you all last week. I was making time, taking time, clearing a path, paying attention to details, rising to the occasion, and regaining focus. You all know the drill.
During this time I was reminded that repose is a quality too many undervalue.
When I find myself in a crowded room, be it a fundraiser or dinner party, I'm always drawn to the woman who is incredibly, gracefully, relaxed. She sits still because people are drawn to her.  She speaks in a low voice almost as if creating a spell around her. 
Lisa Warninger Photography
We have all met her.  If it's the first time, she doesn't treat you like a stranger, instead she listens with responsive eyes and a smile. If you're an old friend, her eyes light up when you tell her how you've been. She cares about your husband, children, parents, and even your dog. 
Lisa Warninger Photography 
When you walk away from her you feel as if you've been bathed in beautiful warm light. You have. It's the best beauty secret around.  It's called repose.
Lisa Warninger Photography 
These days I seem to have more harried moments than tranquil ones. I find myself going in so many different directions and often I don't arrive gracefully.  One minute I'm hot, the next minute I'm cold and the holidays are right around the corner! 
Lisa Warninger Photography 
So last week I acted as if I was a woman with repose. I tried not to rush my family in the mornings. I greeted most everyone I met with a warm smile. While I was with friends, I spoke softly, listened attentively and I sincerely thought that every conversation I had with them was the most important thing on my mind today. I looked my children and my husband in the eyes when they spoke to me and loved on the dog more than I usually do.
You know the saying, "As is the inner, so is the outer."  By taking the time today to step outside myself and embrace others, I found serenity within. You should try it and see how different you feel at the end of the day.
 That is repose.
Lisa Warninger Photography 
Now don't you just love it when Cindy Crawford or some blogger like me tells you that the real beauty secret in life is finding your inner light?  No Shit!
Helmut Lang
I have done plenty to find my inner light and yes I'm happier, but I still don't look like Cindy Crawford. All I can do is try to have repose and look my best. This is where the fashion part of my post comes in to play.
My mother always told me, keep it simple, go with a classic, and that I don't look good in prints. Ok. I adore this though!
Roland Bello for Forbes
But when I was a young girl my self-confidence in how I looked wasn't based solely on my mother's directive. Remember my Pierre Deux tiny French bikini story?
Denim & Chanel via Styled On
  Most of my fashion sense was based on what was on the cover of Seventeen Magazine and what my girlfriends were wearing.
Stella McCartney
Our Catholic all-girls prep school uniform had us yearning for free-dress days!
New York fashion Week
You see, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we're constantly programmed by the world to be other women, not ourselves.
Chris Blott Photography
We're supposed to look like Cindy Crawford, and entertain like Martha Stewart.
Olivia via Styled On  We are all so hard on ourselves. We not only want to be other people, we want to be perfect visions of them.
Fashion Week
How women look and how their looks change in the course of their lives is what I'm really referring to.
via Tina and Rebecca Wardrobe Consulting, LLCLauren Hutton
How do I look? 
That is such a loaded question. Instead I ask myself, how do I feel.
Via Hanneli Mustaparta
Whether the day calls for a cotton sweater or a silk blouse, I'm at my best when I feel comfortable both inside & out.
 That's called self-confidence!
100% CapriAttitude, experience, knowledge, wisdom, optimism and faith. So much goes into this special elixir.
Catherine Deneuve
The good news is that a little self-confidence goes a long way.  So who needs a huge closet full of clothes? 
Donna Karan
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that when the seasons change and the September issue shows up it's sometimes impossible to quiet down the wants.
Chanel
And then I remember fashion fades, only style remains.
Lisa Warninger Photography
Style is an intersection of what you wear and who you are.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Diana Vreeland
Once you learn that less is more, then enough becomes plenty, and your entire outlook on life, including fashion, is transformed.
Sharon Stone
Fashion is a show-off.  Style has seen it all before.  Fashion is impatient.  Style is steadfast.  Fashion guesses.  Style knows.
Meryl Streep
Style begins when you seek and discover your strengths, then bank them for all they're worth.

Many of the beautiful photos above are by Lisa Warninger a Northwest-based photographer, specializing in lifestyle, fashion, and location shooting. Nightingale Photography is where she blogs about her stylish life in Portland.

20 comments:

Francine Gardner said...

Fabulous post Lisa. The photographs beautiful...great style...and i totally agree with you, you have to know yourself, be comfortable in your own skin to have style.
Anyone with money can buy fashion, but style is the key.

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Lisa, I enjoyed this reflective post very much. You nailed it perfectly. We, as young women, are raised to be like others by the desire to fit in. The best thing about aging is finding one's inner self and having confidence. I have never felt better, but know that my "looks" aren't what they used to be. You put it in perspective to focus on how you feel, not how you look. Love that advice. The other day I simply pinned an over sized silk flower to my blue denim shirt...I just was hanging around the house, but that little touch reflected the inner me~and I felt great! And it made my husband smile...he gets it too!

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Just lovely Lisa! And, a beautiful read to start a perfectly sunny Sunday morning. I'm happy you remind us of repose, and I love the concept of banking all of our strengths. Brava + thank you!! oxo Barbara

Lori @ Projects Plenty said...

This is an extraordinary post... so grounding, inciteful and inspiring. I am so glad to have read this as I needed it! Thank you.

Catherine Frinier said...

lisa . . . in the moment . . . love all of this. thank you.

Karena said...

Lisa, this post really resonated with me. I am starting to do this in a most serious way, reflect, know who I really am (I do) and repose. It is about inner beauty, strengh, and confidence.

xoxo
Karena

Art by Karena

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Gorgeous!
And the little black dress in image 9 is amazing :)

Splendid Sass said...

Lisa,
Thank you for reminding us to slow down and smell the roses. Such truth in what you say. I wish I had learned this earlier in life, but I was almost 50. Guess that is better than never learning.
Have a great weekend, and thank you for this beautiful message.
Teresa

The-Countrypolitan said...

Very nicely put Lisa... it's the best thing I have read all day. ~Terri

EntertainingMom said...

What a gorgeous and inspirational post! Thank you!

Millie said...

Wow Lisa - you need to go into the repose mode more often girl, this post is awesome! A lovely friend once told me that the room lights up when I walk in - talk about a confidence booster! I certainly don't feel that way, but his words have etched themselves on my heart. You are so right, we should never underestimate the mighty power of a few beautiful words of encouragement to another human being.
Millie ^_^

Velvet and Linen said...

This is such a thoughtful post, Lisa.
I should read it every morning before I start my day. We must be connected somehow (I think you feel that too). I was thinking about my life and my priorities all weekend. Too often I lose perspective. It's so important to remind myself of the people and things that give my life true meaning.
Your post is a gift given at exactly the right time. You exemplify the woman with repose. I feel like you were (and always are) really listening :)

xo
Brooke

Virginia Blue - Director Blue Fruit said...

Thoroughly thoughtful and "reposed" post - complete with graceful, elegant images and gracious, beautiful musings!

Shorely Chic said...

As others have said, what a gorgeous post, and a good one to leave as I run out the door to a cocktail party! These words will stay with me, so, thank you :)

HOUND HILL DESIGN said...

Thank you Lisa for this beautiful post. I strive for this in my personal life, however, owning a retail store becomes a daily challenge! Today a "lady" came in the store and I said "Hello - how are you today?". She responded "just looking"!!
Thank you for your wonderful blog and all the hard work you put into it - it is much appreciated.
Nancy

for the love of a house said...

I love this post, and I thank you for it.....

joan

The enchanted home said...

Lisa loooove this post!!! So true, I read through it shaking my head in agreement. That said gotta admit in my eyes, I can never have enough beautiful cashmere sweaters, handbags, silk scarves, shoes,etc...you get the picture and truth be told I feel and look my best when I DRESS my best. Go figure. When I think I look good, I shine on the outside, get a little skip to my step, smile a little broader, laugh a little easier.....vain or not, its the truth. And I think in addition to all you said which I totally agree with is in addition to repose it all boils down to being your authentic self, being truly comfortable in your own skin. And despite wanting to lose 18 pounds, I really am happy with who I am.....at last.

The enchanted home said...

PS-Wondering how I missed this but realized this was put out right as I joined blogland!

Renae Moore said...

I do love this post Lisa. So thought provoking and inspirational. I love what you say about style and fashion. Style comes from our center, the core of our being. Beautiful....just like you!

xoxo

Patricia Gray said...

Hi Lisa
Although I have never met you I know in my heart that you embody everything you have written about in this post! You have a great style that is very apparent.
All the Best
Patricia